#SelfiesCanHelp and Giving Tuesday

by Pam Dillon

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, it’s time to focus on today: Giving Tuesday. In the midst of the season for spending, this is the first annual Canadian day dedicated to giving back. You gotta love that.

Initiated by CanadaHelps and GIV3, the Giving Tuesday campaign encourages people and organizations to join together and find innovative ways to give back to the charities and causes they support during the holiday season and through the year. You can find out more about this movement at GivingTuesday.ca.

It’s a great idea. And there are many others. One of the best things about social media, I think, is the power of collective generosity. United, we have enormous, uplifting capacity to do good and to improve the quality of life in our community.  Here in Online Ottawa, that spirit of giving and of community building is constantly in evidence. Most recently it sprang to life  — IRL life – last night  at the Big Rig Brewery on Iris Street. Selfies Can Help™, an organization founded by some inspiring local women — Erin Blaskie, Crystal McLeod, Ann Bacciaglia and Julie Auger – hosted a holiday tweet-up to support the Kanata Food Cupboard. Through ticket sales and raffle draws, over $1300 was raised in one fun evening. And loads of people showed up to support the effort.  I had the chance to finally meet many folks I follow online, from Laurel @lolabelly, Crystal @crystal_lou_who  and Erin @ErinBlaskie to the lovely fashionista ML @20YS.  I also caught a glimpse of the amazing @spydergrrl, Tanya, and Jane Daly of @daly_beauty – who is just as beautiful in the flesh.

It was a pleasure to see this crowd and to watch all the good things happen.  As noted at selfiescanhelp.com,  “The mission of Selfies Can Help is to encourage people to take a national pastime, taking selfies, and turn it into a positively driven action. By sharing photographic acts of kindness, you’ll be helping to inspire others to do the same. Selfless selfies. Kindness in action.”

Honestly? I’m a bit afraid of selfies (due to a tendency to look hideous in photographs).  But kindness in action? Love it.

And selfless selfies? I’m in.

Are you?

On Canada’s first Giving Tuesday, I’m giving my time, effort and energy (for a few hours) to a 90-year-old nursing home resident who could really use some companionship and a shopping trip.

Undoubtedly, there’ll be a selfie to share. Hope you’ll have one to share too.

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